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Recognizing Toxic Relationships and How to Deal with Them

Recognizing Toxic Relationships and How to Deal with Them

By Brandon R. | May 16, 2019

When you go to parks, coffee shops, restaurants, drive-ins, or other fancy places that people spend time together, you will most definitely spot a number of couples holding hands or kissing. If you are single and searching, you are likely to admire or envy such relationships.

You might even be tempted to fantasize about your future relationship and make plans hoping that your next partner will be down for them. However, from the many years that I have lived observing couples, I have come to learn that most relationships are not all rainbows and sunshine.

Most romantic relationships are not as rosy as they seem. In fact, most couples pretend to be happy while they are not. Some of them have perfected at sweeping their baggage under the carpet. They have perfected the art of acting and faking.

Some are trying to save their relationships by seeking the help of marriage counselors while others just persevere in silence.

I have been working as a marriage counselor for almost two decades. I have tried to save countless marriages. While this has worked for some, others are simply beyond repair. Most relationships have more cracks than eggs on Easter holidays.

Such relationships are never healthy to one or either of the couples. Most times, one of the couples gives 120% while the other one is a drag. Such relationships can take a toll on your health and if the situation goes unchecked, the individual being undermined, mistreated, or taken for granted in the relationship might end up getting hurt or abused. In this article, I am going to share my wealth of information about abusive and toxic relationships. 

Couple Fighting
Couple Fighting

Do Not Try to Save Toxic Relationships

This piece will focus on spotting toxic partners and how to deal with them in a relationship. We are also going to go through the process of removing emotionally draining partners from your life in a perfectly safe manner. This part of the article is quite significant because, in one way or another, your happiness and success depends on it.

In my experience, toxic partners tend to be controlling and extremely manipulative. They can stamp on your dreams and demoralize you to the point where you feel that life is completely worthless. Some are verbally or physically abusive. I have heard of stories that can make your skin crawl. While persevering or weathering the ups and downs of a relationship is good, it is not always encouraged if you often find your partner pushing you to the edge. In fact, staying in an abusive relationship is a fool’s game.

The truth of the matter is that no matter how hard you try to save your relationship, your efforts will not bear any fruits if your partner is abusive because such people rarely change. Such individuals have been psychologically wired to derive pleasure from your pain. They have perfected in making their spouses feeling worthless. Such narcissistic behavior rarely changes. Sticking with such a negative partner is like going full suicide vest in a mission of destroying your happiness. So, how do you know that you are in a toxic relationship? Let’s find out.

Signs of a Toxic Partner in a Relationship

To spot signs of a toxic relationship even in the earliest stages requires one to keep his or her guard up. While it is normal to be disappointed by your romantic partner every once in a while, you have to know that there is a limit. It is important to know when someone is taking you for a ride or for granted. Learn to avoid people who constantly sabotage your growth and happiness like a plague or a deadly virus without a cure. At times, your partner may say nasty things aimed at making you feel bad about yourself. While it is natural to think that they have had a hectic or stressful day, it is crucial to do some soul-searching for your sake. Do not entertain an abusive partner. If you seem to be hanging on the fence about your partner’s behavior, trust your gut on what to do or the next step to take for it is never wrong. So, what are some of the red flags of a toxic relationship? Let’s find out.

Toxic Couple
Toxic Couple

Characteristics of Toxic Partners

a) Lying

Toxic partners have perfected the art of lying to their better half. Their face-saving lies might seem so real that you might not doubt them. They might be constantly coming home from work late with a bunch of different excuses while in real sense they were out cheating. To spot a lying toxic partner and seeing through their lies can be hard and easy depending on specific situations. 

Some liars tend to get extremely annoyed when questioned or ‘cross-examined’ by their partners. For instance, if your husband comes home late and you ask where he was and he says that he was out working then upon asking the same question a few hours later he says that he was playing poker games with his club buddies, you are dealing with a toxic person.

The situation is even worse when he flies off the handle upon catching him red handed. When your spouse throws fits when he or she is in the wrong or upon unmasking his or her lies is a warning sign that needs appropriate action by the affected individual.

b) Controlling

Toxic people tend to be controlling. They are always telling you what you can or cannot do. When your partner gets suspicious or angry when you do personal things without consulting them, this might be a sign of a toxic person.

Regardless of your partner’s nature, whether he or she is naturally jealous or anxious when you do some things without their consent, know that there is no excuse that justifies the restriction of your freedom of choice.

It is natural if your partner cannot stand the idea of you being in constant touch with your ex. However, if he or she forbids you from going to certain places or hanging out without them to a point where it’s not up for discussion, know that there is a serious problem.

Good partners know how to compromise, controlling partners on the other hand only want things to always go their way.

c) Disrespectful

All healthy relationships are deeply rooted with respect. Both partners understand the need to respect each other’s decisions. A pattern of disrespect not only creates dread and anxiety, but it also wears us down to the point of feeling that we are not worthy of living.

If you note that your partner always feels the need to be on the defense, this simply means that he or she does not own up to his or her actions which means that they do not respect you at all. Respectful individuals own up to their actions and take responsibility. Disrespect holds us back from solving our problems.

d) Psychological Manipulation

Partners who are psychological manipulative are the worst kind of people to ever draw breath on this planet. These are the ones who end up destroying your life completely in a slow and sure way. They use dishonest tactics to shift your perception or influence your behavior. People who are psychologically manipulative always find a way of playing the victim.

Some constantly blow up on you and pressure you to be silent about the issue. Another category of psychologically manipulative partners are the ones who emotionally blackmail you. They use self-harm as their weapon to pressure you to stay with them. In as much as you might feel pity and want to help them, do not.

If you notice that you are in a relationship with a psychologically manipulative person, run away as fast as you can and do not look back.

e) The Bully

If you note that you are constantly being bullied into something you are not into, chances are that you are in a toxic relationship. Everyone has freedom of choice. You have the liberty to do whatever you want without feeling like you are being coerced. Be you and always do what you are comfortable with.

If you feel like your partner is eroding your sense of self-worth, get out of the relationship for the sake of your happiness and well-being.

f) Untrustworthy

If you are not comfortable opening up to your partner, chances are that you do not trust them. Being able to trust your partner is crucial. Your partner should be there to support you through the hard times. The ability to discuss crucial issues with your partner is golden.

If you feel like you are at risk of rejection, if you feel exposed or if you find it hard to open up to your partner, you are most likely in a toxic relationship. In every healthy relationship, couples openly talk about the issues affecting them without feeling like they will be penalized for saying what they really feel.

If you feel like you cannot tell your partner your deepest fears and concerns, there is no need investing in your relationship since it is most likely a toxic one.

toxic couples ends in split up

What to Do in a Toxic Relationship

Toxicity is infectious. Staying in toxic relationships is extremely dangerous for your wellbeing. Never leave room for your partner to bully or cajole you. If you find that you are in a toxic relationship, ghost out of it in a smart way. Cut off flames without being noticed by sucking off the oxygen from the fire.

Although cutting off toxic people might be a process, never feel bad for doing it. Remember, you do not owe anyone any explanation when it comes to your happiness. It is advisable to cut off toxic people in a public place just in case they throw fits of rage.

You also have the right to cut them off in social media platforms; this includes blocking them. It is also advisable to notify a person who you trust about the situation of your relationship in case of emergencies.